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224th AAS Meeting Amateur-Astronomy Program

The AAS is opening its meeting to amateur astronomers and other interested members of the public, who may take advantage of a special one-day registration rate of $50 on Tuesday, 3 June. Registration includes access to all scientific sessions and the exhibit hall, where attendees can meet scientists working on major ground- and space-based telescopes, check out some of the newest astronomy books and products, and enjoy a special exhibition of state-of-the-art amateur astrophotography. The day’s events will culminate (weather permitting) with a FREE star party on Boston Common, where amateur and professional astronomers will treat passersby to views of the Moon, Mars, Saturn, and other celestial spectacles through a variety of telescopes.

Among the highlights of every AAS meeting are plenary presentations by prize winners and other distinguished astronomers. Here’s the lineup for Tuesday, 3 June, in the America Ballroom North/Central:

8:30 am – 9:20 am
Mapping the Nearest Stars for Exotic Habitable Worlds
Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

11:40 am – 12:30 pm
Citizen Science in the Age of Surveys
Arne Henden, American Association of Variable Star Observers

3:40 pm – 4:30 pm
Probing the Origin of the Slow Solar Wind, Coronal Mass Ejections, and Solar Energetic Particles
Alexis Rouillard, French National Centre for Scientific Research

4:30 pm – 5:20 pm
The Life Cycle of Dust in the Magellanic Clouds: Insights from Spitzer and Herschel
Margaret Meixner, Space Telescope Science Institute

In addition to the regularly scheduled science talks, there will be two presentations designed especially to appeal to amateur astronomers and the public, in St. George A/B:

9:30 am − 10:00 am
The Search for Habitable Worlds
Dr. David Latham, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

1:30 pm − 2:00 pm
Supernova Forensics
Dr. Alicia Soderberg, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


Star Party
Tuesday, 3 June | 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Members of the AAS and several Boston-area amateur-astronomy clubs will set up telescopes on the Boston Common Parade Ground at the corner of Charles St. & Beacon St. (Parking is available in the Boston Common Garage on Charles St.) The prime telescopic targets will be the Moon, the red planet Mars, and the ringed planet Saturn, but we hope to go after the asteroid Vesta, several colorful double stars, two showpiece star clusters, and perhaps a remote galaxy or two. Suitable for adults and kids of all ages, this event offers a unique opportunity to explore the universe overhead with astronomers available to answer all your questions.

Attendance at the star party is FREE and open to the public. Weather and logistics updates will be posted on Facebook at


Attendance at the 224th AAS meeting in Boston offers an unprecedented opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world’s leading astronomers and to hear the latest cosmic news from the newsmakers themselves. If you’re interested, please register on-site.

AAS Contact:

Star-Party Contact: